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  1. Hartranft, Susan R. MSN, ARNP
  2. Garcia, Tamela MSN, RN, CNL
  3. Adams, Nancy MSN, RN, OCN, CNL


More than 90 members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and 190 practice sites have partnered to develop the clinical nurse leader (CNL) role. The partnership has created synergy between education and practice and nurtured innovation and diffusion of learning on a national basis. In this ongoing department, the editor, Jolene Tornabeni, MA, RN, FAAN, FACHE, showcases a variety of nurse leaders who discuss their new patient care delivery models in preparation for the CNL role and CNLs who highlight partnerships with their clinical colleagues to improve patient care. In this article, the authors explore the actual implementation of the CNL role within the microsystem of the hospital unit and discuss a typical day in the life of a CNL, how the role achieves lateral integration, and the impact the role has had on quality outcomes and satisfaction for the patient and nurse.